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Heavy rains hit the town

Thursday, 7th January, 2021

Aaron Brooks splashed around with his toys in the rain as water began banking up around neighbourhood streets. PICTURE: Supplied Aaron Brooks splashed around with his toys in the rain as water began banking up around neighbourhood streets. PICTURE: Supplied

By Myles Burt

Filling creeks and local streets, a much needed 14 millimetres of rain fell upon the Broken Hill region. The New Year greeted locals with a torrential downpour that stranded travellers visiting Silverton. 

Local businesses and streets were also flooded. 

Local Alison Jones and her family had just finished shopping at Woolworths when water began rushing out of the ceiling above the checkouts.

“The rain just started, with water falling over the checkout,” Ms Jones said.

“It was quite funny because there was a young girl working and she just kept scanning goods and working away, whilst all this rain was bucketing down on top of everyone.”

The rain came out of nowhere, making such a loud sound on the Plaza roof that Ms Jones and her husband had to start yelling to be able to hear each other, even though they were standing right next to one another. 

Ms Jones said the BWS next door had to shut their roller door after eight ceiling panels fell down due to the heavy rain, with the supermarket shutting later for staff to clean up the water.

Ms Jones said locals parked outside weren’t too worried about weather as the hail stones were very small and the locals just watched on as the rain poured down.

“People weren’t too fussed, as long as they were parked under the sails they figured they’d be ok,” Ms Jones said.

“Just because it’s Broken Hill you’ve got to stand and watch the rain I guess.”

While the rain was short lived, local Jason King who was visiting Silverton with his family said they could see that it was raining nearby but didn’t think much of it at the time.

“Everyone at the pub seemed to think that the creeks would be alright to cross so we stayed out there,” Mr King said.

“Obviously it had been raining closer to town and evidently in the catchment zones to fill those creeks.”

Mr King said they decided to head back for town when they eventually ran into a creek that was full to the brim with fast flowing water. 

Not wanting to risk the crossing, Mr King said they choose to head back to Silverton but found themselves sandwiched in between creek crossings. 

Mr King said he and his family decided to trek down the Daydream Mine road to see the creek there as well. 

“It was pretty cool to see the water break the bank of the road, cross over and see how fast it came through,” Mr King said.

“I’ve never seen a creek running that fast before in Broken Hill.”

Mr King said around 40 to 50 people were stranded between Broken Hill and Silverton as a lot of travellers were in town to visit the Far West and see family.

“A lot of people just getting out and exploring our region,” Mr King said.

Mr King said locals and travellers should always be aware of the possible hazards when travelling out and around the bush.

“Things can change really quickly and we saw firsthand how quickly that sort of flash flooding can occur,” Mr King said.

“Got to respect nature, especially the rain.”

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